Thursday, January 5, 2012


My own second YA, PLAYING HURT, features slightly older characters, for the genre: Chelsea's already graduated from high school and Clint has finished his first year of college when the two meet and embark on their love story. One of the reasons I chose protagonists of that age is because I love stories that focus on characters who are in the midst of one of life's times of transition—a rocky, scary, thrilling new beginning. The kind of beginning that finds us at the end of our school days, or as we set out to establish ourselves in "the real world," etc.

That's a big part of why I love this video; I can't help it—I smile every single time I watch it. I really appreciate the transition Ms. Swift is making here; this is the first time I've ever viewed her in an adult capacity...Plus, as PLAYING HURT also illustrates, I'm just a sucker for a sweet love story:

Speaking of PLAYING HURT, I absolutely loved bumping into Best-of-'11 lists throughout the blogophere late in December that featured the book. I wanted to highlight a few here, from Reading Angel, Book Goonie, and Magnet 4 Books.

I'd also like to know: how do you prefer your characters in YA? Older? Younger? Weigh in below!

...And with that, I officially kick of '12 here at the blog! I can't help it—I just have this fabulous feeling about '12. Life is good...


  1. I prefer characters from 16-18. The age of possibilities, exploration, excitement, choices.

    I hope you're right about '12. Life IS good. ^_^

  2. I prefer older characters. I have taught college, mostly freshmen, for several years now. That age, 17-18, is such a time of transition, a time for figuring life out. (BTW I'm 3/4 of the way through BLUE SO DARK and am loving it!)

  3. I LOVE the rare time I come across a college-aged YA! They are so rare, and I love all that can be done with them!!! (Plus, they normally have a little less angst, which I get a little tired of at times...) They are usually my favorites!!! :)

  4. To me, the "adult" in Young Adult means a character who is a little closer to adulthood than childhood. So I tend to think high school to college. It also feels like the right age for me to write about, as some of my most vivid memories are from that era in my life.

  5. I love a good coming-of-age novel.

    Some of my favorite books that tackle the post-high school-transition period are Very LeFreak by Rachel Cohn and the Body of Evidence series by Christopher Golden.

  6. The first line of Chapter One of the novel Body Bags by Christopher Golden:

    It was a beautiful day to grow up.

  7. What fabulous comments! Amy, thanks for the BLUE love! And Angela, I know what you mean about "less angst." Little Willow, I love that first line of BODY BAGS. I'll have to check that one out!

  8. Definitely check it out, Holly. I love that series!

  9. I also love college-age protagonists, and can't wait to read A BLUE SO DARK. It's wonderful that you write about mental illness and how it affects young people.


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